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Bill to Establish Language Practitioners’ Council to Be Tabled in Parliament

July 25, 2017

Department of Arts and Culture

A bill seeking to establish a South African Language Practitioners’ Council will soon be tabled in Parliament.

According to a recent post-cabinet meeting media statement, once promulgated the proposed new legislation will professionalise language translation services by establishing a council for registering, accrediting and training language and interpretation practitioners.

The council will also set norms and standards aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of related services and practice.

The proposed new legislation was first mooted in July 2000, when a bill was published but not taken further at the time.

It eventually resurfaced in the department’s legislative programme for 2010/11 and was referred to in a May 2010 presentation to the parliamentary portfolio committee on arts and culture.

According to the 2000 version of the bill, the proposed legislation could include provisions empowering the council to:

• develop and implement a code of ethics for translation and interpretation practitioners and their services;
• protect their professional interests; and
• protect members of the public making use of their services.

It is envisaged that the proposed council will work closely with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), the Council for Higher Education and the National Skills Authority.